[b-hebrew] nevi

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Aug 18 17:51:08 EDT 2005

On 8/17/05, Ben Crick wrote:

>  It seems from 1 Samuel 9:9 that one who "is now called a Prophet was in
>  times past called a Seer".
>  The Seer root R'H would be "clairvoyant", that is, predicting the future;
>  whereas a Prophet root NB' was one who announced the will of God, that is,
>  a forthteller.
>  The distinction between these nuances had obviously become blurred already
>  by the time of Samuel. 1 Chronicles 29:29 calls Samuel a Seer, Nathan a
>  Prophet, and Gad a Seer. 2 Chronicles 9:29 calls Nathan a Prophet, but
>  Iddo a Seer. 2 Chronicles 12:15 calls Shemaiah a Prophet, and Iddo a Seer
>  (again). In 2 Chronicles 29:25 Gad is the king's Seer, whereas Nathan is
>  the Prophet.

I had considered the idea that Ro)eh and Xozeh refer both to
astrologers.  There's
not much data behind it, but both Amos and Isaiah seem to contain astrological
references and both are referred in roots of XZH when describing their acts of 
prophecy in the first verse of each book respectively.  Also, Samuel appears to
be Saul's Ro)eh while Gad appears to be David's Xozeh.  This would suggest a
very close relationship to the king, and an astrologer might very well have had
such a relationship, especially in a lunisolar calendar society of
that period.  Also,
if you look above, you will note that the titles of different
personalities are relatively
constant.  Iddo is constantly a Seer, especially 1 Chron 9:29, where the words
XZWT Y(DY HXZH is used.   This includes a distinction between XZH and R)H that
is maintained appropriately and separately for each personality.  This
would suggest
to me that if the distinctions had become blurred, it was by the time
of Samuel (the
book) and not Samuel (the personality).  Let's keep this thread focused on the
semantics of this various words though, and not on the date or historicity of 
Samuel (the book or personality).

Yitzhak Sapir

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